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Pharmaceutical Commerce Magazine

A conversation with Homi Kapadia, Vice Chairman, Deloitte LLP

Homi Kapadia, leader of the U.S. life sciences practice, sat down with Pharmaceutical Commerce to talk about the life science market.

Pharmaceutical Commerce interviewed Homi Kapadia on trends in life sciences and health care, new initiatives in Deloitte and his evolving role. Here is what he had to say on some of the issues.

Addressing the changed health care consumer market

We not only have more consumers coming into the health system via the exchanges and Medicaid expansion, but also consumers who may have to take more responsibility for managing their health. This combination may cause health companies to fundamentally change around customer centricity—more consumers with more engagement requires more customer-centric business models.

One of the broader implications here is the acceleration of remote health, of mobile health and telemedicine. In addition to more transparency around cost and quality, consumers are demanding more immediate access to their health records and activities.

Another impact is convergence, a blurring of the lines between the health sectors. We are seeing different sectors come together to coordinate patient-centered care, including providers developing alliances with payers or establishing their own health plans. They may also form hubs around data, because in looking to lower costs and improve outcomes, providers have the patient data that plans need, and plans have the claims data that providers need.

Maintaining regulatory compliance

In the last decade, the regulatory environment seems to have become less of an afterthought and more of a prevailing wind impacting a company’s direction. It seems to get more attention now at the executive and board levels than at any time I’ve seen in my time with the industry.

Compounding the challenge is that manufacturers are retooling around the small-batch versus large batch approach and expanding their supply chains, which introduces more steps and risks into the manufacturing process as well as risks with vendors, contract manufacturers and distributors.

Greater harmony could be achieved in the regulatory environment if companies take an active role in proposed rule changes via public forums and other outlets by the federal government. There is also upside potential for companies to realize compliance efficiencies and improved product quality by investing in technologies that take the manual work out of the process.

Building closer relationships with patients

Our perspective is that the industry is working to better demonstrate and communicate drug prices with respect to their true value. In other words, considering the overall health outcome achieved in light of the cost to produce that outcome and the role that the medication played. That value should be compared to the next best alternative inclusive of effectiveness rates, side effects, tolerability, and beyond-the-pill services, such as programs to support better adherence. 

Additionally, pharmaceutical companies are working diligently to understand the needs of patients and families in order to support improved overall health outcomes by investing in “beyond the pill” services, which are largely provided at low to no cost.

Lastly, R&D innovation is expected to produce medicine for special diseases such as oncology, multiple sclerosis and rare diseases at an increased rate over the coming years. Given special requirements for storage and administration, as well as the higher costs for these medicines, we expect the demand for specialty pharmaceutical products to increase. Life sciences companies may be able to compete or offer some of those same patient services (which could reduce costs) if they are able to innovate around the distribution channel.

Read more of Homi’s views on the life sciences market, trends and his role at Deloitte

"The innovation of our clients to solve critical diseases, the collaboration across large segments of our economy to make this a reality, and the measurable results achieved over the past century in taming many life-threatening diseases and conditions is truly remarkable."

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